I had a fantastic, smog-filled weekend. Friday mostly consisted of studying from 8-3 in the institute building, writing letters, working out, white strips, and watching 17 Again with my home girl Andrea. It was a need we both had that night. Was my mouth foaming from the white strips or Zac? It’s so hard to know.
Saturday, I realized I may be having withdrawals. As in, I need to get back to Asia sometime soooon. All I wanted to do was eat sushi and karaoke. How Asian can you get?
The problem with sushi, no matter how great, is… you’re hungry about five seconds later. So we headed to Wendy’s up the road to kill time before karaoke started at 10. We took a lady-car and a man-car because we’re five years old. The lady-car made it first (obviously) and we walked in on a homeless man trying to bargain for a cheeseburger with his last dollar. He needed seven more cents, and the cashier couldn’t really overlook that, so he headed back to sit in a booth, disappointed. I bought a cheeseburger with my chicken sandwich and took it on over. He progressed from being bashful (“Mannnnn, I didn’t ask for that….”) to wolfing it down and talking to me animatedly about how white girls dance stiff. Then some J. Biebs came on and we all had to do a little dancing together. The man-car showed up and the boys were immediately horrified to see us girls surrounded and partying hard with the homeless. They had a good talk with my new friend. I forget his full name, but he was James something the second – “Lil’ James for short.” He was the best.
He worked for a gang, killing people professionally, is what I mostly gathered from his mumble. He had a bunch of scars from stab wounds. But I just enjoyed him. He went back to his friends, but hearing his stories snowballed into a bunch of mission stories from the boys about shootings and being mugged. You know, the kind of mission stories you don’t tell your mom until you are home safely. Based on the looks we were getting, we decided we should probably head out. But not before I had a personal Zumba lesson from Lil’ James. A plastic bottle of whiskey fell out of his pants as we jammed. You know how it is.
As we left, though, he had this extremely sincere moment, where I felt like I truly saw him. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “You’re going to walk out and forget me, aren’t you?” And I promised that I wouldn’t. He smiled and said, “Well, okay, then.” I found it so incredibly sweet. I felt so much love for him, and I wished more than anything that we’d had the time or been in a place where I could’ve really sat down and listened to his story, the things that had brought him to the place where he was.
Also. Walking to the car, our friend Cam yelled, “SHOTGUN!” to reserve the front seat, and I’m pretty sure like half the restaurant ducked. You don’t yell stuff like that in that neighborhood, apparently.
Turns out karaoke didn’t start until 11, and we needed to get our jam on. Luckily, there is no shortage of sushi bars with karaoke rooms in the Salt Lake area. So we found ourselves a new spot, rented a room, and got to WORK.
I can’t emphasize enough that we were all completely sober, and these are all completely candid. I can’t IMAGINE if we were drinkers.
Um… if you know me, you know I’m borderline terrified of singing in front of people, even when it’s hilarious. But if you know that about me, then you also probably know that I’m a weird one with fears. I’ll never do something because people are pressuring me to do it, but once I decide I want to overcome something, I’m gonna DO that thing. And this year is all about doing the things that scare me. Rock on, 2013.
DON’T STOP BELIEVINGGGG.
The big finish. My vocal chords will NEVER be the same. So worth it. Not only is that fear/insecurity conquered… I think we have a new monthly tradition. And I have the most amazing friends. So much fun!